1/1/11: Our family’s New Year’s tradition is to spend some time journaling about the year past – what it has been for us, what it means to us – and then look ahead into the new year to try to discern the direction we are headed. For me, the year 2010 began with a sense of emerging from a long tunnel and rejoining the normal world, a kind of waking-up a la Rip van Winkle after being narrowly and intently focused for a few years. It seemed that now, things would be easier. As the year unfolded, there was much good, yet also a strangeness and unfamiliarity that were not easy or comfortable. I have changed, my close relationships have changed, and in fact, the world has changed. I will always be a mother, but with my child now an adult am no longer one in the same sense I was a few years back. This is both a loss and a relief. It also changes my relationship with my husband; we are growing closer, and this is a gain. As I age, health is more of a concern, politics less (the world, I realize, will go on its way with or without my “help”). The pace, technologies, and interests of the world around me seem less and less relevant to my life, and I find myself bemused at the upside-downness of it all. Trying to live into all this has been like looking for a solid place to stand on quaking ground.
Today I read Fr. Tom’s Blog in which he also looks at the year past, but through the lens of seeing what has been learned along the way (see http://wp.me/pps5h-5R ). I especially like his insight that delight is all around us, and that we are meant to take the time to find it.
So – what have I learned?
- I have learned, again, that family and friends, our love relationships, are the real treasures of our lives. Joy comes from keeping them, and also from holding them loosely enough to let them change and be open to new ones.
- Prayer is always answered, and to the extent that we open and join ourselves to God’s intentions, we will see those answers.
- Waiting brings doubts, and doubts bring struggle, and struggle brings strengthening.
- We cannot really rest unless we rest in God.
New challenges lie ahead¸ new instabilities and surprising solidities. The word I received this morning, though, is, “Hand over the anxieties and the striving. Just enjoy the ride.”